A survey by the Federal Reserve has found that farmland values across the upper Midwest rose 16 percent last year. That's the largest one-year increase in almost 30 years.
The area studied by the agency spans Iowa and Michigan, as well as most of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
Those results mirror a trend noted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an earlier report. USDA officials found that the average value of an acre of Wisconsin farmland was about $2,250 in 2002. By 2006, that value jumped nearly 50 percent, to almost $3,400 in 2006.
Paul Zimmerman is a spokesman for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. He says the trend is driven in part by record prices for commodities such as corn and soybeans.
Another factor is the increased demand for land from people looking to build rural homes.